Elmore County is still under a Drought Emergency Declaration! (UPGRADED ALERT)

The Alabama Forestry Commission

The Alabama Forestry Commission has issued a state wide “NO BURN ORDER” for all of Alabama’s 67 counties.

WHAT IS A DROUGHT EMERGENCY DECLARATION?
Section 9-13-141 of the Code of Alabama states: “at such time as the state forestry commission has declared by regulation a drought emergency in any county or counties, it shall be unlawful in such county or counties for any person to set fire to any forest, grass, woods, wildlands or marshes or to build a campfire or bonfire or to burn trash or other material that may cause a forest, grass or woods fire.”

Specifically, the regulation prohibits any prescribed burns, any campfire or bonfire, any trash or debris fires, or any other open burning.

DO THE REGULATIONS COVER BARBEQUES?
The regulations allow barbeque fires for cooking IF the fire is in a grill or masonry barbeque pit, including large barbeque pits used by civic organizations to prepare food. Anyone grilling or barbequing during the Drought Emergency should have water hoses on site to prevent any loose sparks from setting a wildfire, and a circle at least 10 feet wide around the grill should be cleared of any burnable material. Side fires to generate coals for a barbeque must also be within a grill or masonry pit. Gas grills are allowed.

WHAT IS INCLUDED IN THE “CAMPFIRE OR BONFIRE” PROHIBITION?
Campfires or bonfires include any fire that is burned on bare ground, even if surrounded by stones or a metal fire ring. This definition includes campfires, ceremonial fires, ‘council’ fires, bonfires, ‘warming’ fires, and cooking fires that are on bare ground and not in a masonry lined ‘pit.’

WHAT IS INCLUDED IN THE “TRASH OR DEBRIS FIRE” PROHIBITION?
Trash and debris fires include burning of woody debris, yard waste, garbage, construction debris or any other material, in either an open pit or in a barrel. At this time, people should not burn a debris pile until the Drought Emergency is lifted.
WHAT OTHER THINGS ARE INCLUDED IN THE DROUGHT EMERGENCY?
The intent of the Drought Emergency Declaration is to prevent catastrophic wildfires during drought conditions. No one should use an open flame in or around a woodland setting. At campsites, closed lanterns may be used, but no open flames such as candles or ‘tiki’ torches. Care should also be exercised in suburban areas where lawns are very dry as well.
WHAT ARE THE PENALTIES FOR VIOLATING THESE REGULATIONS?
Under Section 9-13-142, Code of Alabama, anyone found guilty of violating these regulations and improperly conducting open burning in a Drought Emergency-declared area shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and shall be fined not less than $250, nor more than $500, and at the discretion of the court, that person may also be sentenced to the county jail for up to six months.
Additionally, any person burning in violation of the Drought Emergency Declaration will be liable for damages to the property of another and any costs associated with the suppression of said fire. Suppression costs would include equipment and personnel costs related to control or extinguish the wildfire.

 Click here for Alabama Forestry Service Website

 

Severe Thunderstorm Watch Jun 17th, now thru 9pm

Elmore County is included in a Severe Thunderstorm Watch effective until 9 PM this evening. According to the NWS, severe thunderstorms are likely this afternoon and early evening across Central Alabama. The highest threat will be along and west of I-65. The main threats will be damaging winds and large hail. Thunderstorms will develop across north Alabama by early afternoon and then form into a line and track southward across the remainder of Central Alabama during the afternoon and early evening hours.

Hot and humid conditions are also expected today. Heat indices will range from 104 to 109 degrees across Central Alabama this afternoon…except lower values in the northeast. These maximum heat indices will only last a few hours.

Elmore County EMA will continue to monitor the situation and provide severe weather updates as they become available.

NWS 17 Jun 16 threat

Severe Weather Possible Today, May 20, 2016

Posted: 08:14:57  05/20/2016  According to the NWS:  Isolated severe storms are possible today, beginning this morning and continuing through 7PM as several waves of thunderstorms are expected. This morning…damaging winds and heavy rainfall are the main threats. Damaging winds, hail, and heavy rainfall will be possible with additional isolated thunderstorms developing through the day. A great deal of uncertainty exists regarding the potential of isolated severe storms this afternoon and evening, and will depend on how convection evolves early this morning. Confidence remains low at this time.

Again, we ask all to remain weather aware today!

 

 

NWS 20 May 2016